SFA's Top Christmas Party Tips
Company social events can be a great way of bringing everyone together to encourage staff engagement and celebrate a job well done throughout the year. However, with alcohol involved, inappropriate behaviour is a likely possibility. It is advisable for employers and employees alike to note that any inappropriate behaviour can have serious repercussions for the company and their role. This article provides useful insights to ensure you have a safe and well received party.
- We advise that all employees plan and arrange their trip home, whether a taxi company is assigned for the night, or whether drivers among the workplace are appointed. Employers have a duty of care notwithstanding the party being out of hours and off site.
- Review the “Dignity at Work”, “Intoxicants in the Workplace”, “Social Media”, and “Disciplinary and Grievance” Policies and ensure that each document clearly states the employer will not tolerate any breach including at work related social events. Employers should be aware that the party venue is basically an extension of the office and that they remain responsible for the well-being, protection and behaviour of employees during such events. A wealth of sample policy documents, code of practice in relation to sexual harassment and bullying and a guide to hosting a social event are available on the SFA website – www.SFA.ie
- Sometimes it’s easy to get swept up in the festivities and forget about alcohol tolerance levels. Employees are advised to leave their car keys at home, under no circumstances should they drink and drive. Businesses should consider having management volunteer in supervising the event, obviously these assigned supervisors should not consume alcohol to ensure the event is properly controlled, sensible decisions are made, and then there are emergency drivers available. These supervisors should also be coached in advance on how to respond in the event of any unwanted conduct/behaviour.
- It is recommended to provide food throughout the event to alleviate the impact of alcohol.
- Non-alcoholic drinks, known as “low alcoholic” or “alcohol free” are now widely available and have become more prominent in Irish social culture. These should be available for those who do not wish to consume alcohol or wish to move away from the booze-based social culture. Having limited alternatives to alcohol drinks discourages those who may wish to make that choice.
Have fun during the festive season. Enjoy your workspace and the company of your co-workers but use common sense. Sensible decision making, reviewing compliance regulations, having a pre-holiday pep talk and having regard to the above tips can help your office have an enjoyable, trouble-free celebration.
If you need further advice, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01 605 1668 or at firstname.lastname@example.org